In brief: Bryant spoils Nowitzki’s banner night
NBA: Kobe Bryant went from having a slow night because of a sore back to nailing the winning jumper with 28 seconds left, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers to a 100-95 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki became the 34th player in NBA history to score 20,000 points when he hit a 14-foot jumper early in the fourth quarter. He scored 15 of his 30 points in the quarter, including a tough 3-pointer that tied it at 95 with 42.5 seconds left. He also grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds.
•Rockets win in three overtimes: Aaron Brooks scored a career-high 43 points, Chuck Hayes grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-114 in triple overtime in Houston.
•Spurs win in overtime: Rookie DeJuan Blair set career highs with 28 points and 21 rebounds while filling in for Tim Duncan, and Richard Jefferson hit the winning jumper in overtime to lift the visiting San Antonio Spurs to a 109-108 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
•Trail Blazers roll: Brandon Roy scored 22 points before sitting much of the second half with a tight right hamstring and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 120-108.
Portland led by as many as 33 in the second half and shot 60.3 percent from the floor.
•Griffin’s season over: Blake Griffin’s first season with the Los Angeles Clippers is over before it began.
Griffin, who hasn’t played a regular-season game, will have surgery on his broken left kneecap, keeping the No. 1 draft pick out for at least more four months, the Clippers announced.
Virginia knocks off No. 20 Georgia Tech
College basketball: Sylven Landesberg scored 22 points and Virginia (10-4, 2-0 ACC) used a 16-4 run late in the second half to surge to an 82-75 victory over No. 20 Georgia Tech (12-4, 1-2) in Charlottesville, Va.
Virginia, with former Washington State Cougars coach Tony Bennett at the helm, opened ACC play 2-0 for the first time since 1994-95.
•Pitt continues Big East roll: Brad Wanamaker and Ashton Gibbs each scored 19 points and No. 16 Pittsburgh (14-2, 4-0) won another Big East road game, beating No. 15 Connecticut (11-5, 2-3) 67-57 at Hartford, Conn.
Capitals post shootout victory
NHL: Tomas Fleischmann scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.
•Miettinen spurs Wild: Antti Miettinen scored two of Minnesota’s three third-period goals, and Niklas Backstrom set a franchise record for career wins with 114 in the Wild’s 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at St. Paul, Minn.
•Danton cleared to play in college: Mike Danton, the former NHL player convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, has been cleared to play for Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Correctional officials allowed Danton, who lives in Toronto and has been given full parole, to make the move, school athletic director Steve Sarty said.
Johnson AP’s top offensive player
Football: That blur speeding away from opposing defenses and running off with the Associated Press 2009 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award is Tennessee’s Chris Johnson.
Considered the fastest man in pro football, Johnson was uncatchable in setting a league mark for yards from scrimmage (2,509) and becoming the sixth player with a 2,000-yard rushing season.
He is the first NFL player to finish with at least 2,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving (503).
That earned the second-year pro 381/2 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Johnson easily beat New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who received nine votes.
•Court skeptical of NFL antitrust protection: The Supreme Court didn’t seem interested in immediately granting the National Football League the broad antitrust law protection the league is seeking.
Justices seemed skeptical of arguments that the NFL should be considered one business, not 32 separate teams working together, when it comes to selling NFL-branded items. The lower courts had thrown out an antitrust lawsuit brought against the league by one of its former hat makers.
Beltran will miss Mets’ opener
Miscellany: Carlos Beltran has had surgery on his troublesome right knee and the New York Mets’ center fielder will miss the start of the season.
•Hatton plans to fight again: Ricky Hatton wants to end his boxing career on a high note rather than his second-round knockout at the hands of Manny Pacquiao eight months ago. No date or venue has been set for the comeback bout, but Hatton (45-2) said he wants a tough challenge.
•Williams advances to final: Top-ranked Serena Williams rallied from a set and 5-2 down to beat France’s Avarane Rezai 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 and reach the final of the Sydney (Australia) International tennis event. Williams will play defending champion Elena Dementieva in the final Friday.